December 30, 2010, 11:51 AM — The FBI raided a Texas server-hosting company Dec. 16, looking for evidence the hactivist group "Anonymous" had used its servers to launch DDOS attacks on PayPal earlier this month, according to an affidavit obtained by The Smoking Gun.
Agents with search warrants giving them the right to seize records relating to the attacks copied the contents of hard drives on at least one server belonging to Tailor Made Servers, in Carrolton, Tex., a suburb of Dallas
The raid was part of an investigation into "Operation Payback," a series of distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks against PayPal, MasterCard, Visa and other sites by groups referring to themselves as "4Chan" or "Anonymous" in response to the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Assange was arrested outside London for investigation of sexual assault charges in Sweden, but which many activists called persecution for WikiLeaks' release of classified U.S. State Dept. diplomatic cables.
According to the FBI affidavit, some of the Operation Payback DDOS traffic came through an IP address owned by Tailor Made, which offers hosting, monitoring and management of custom-configured servers.
Feds found the server by tracing back the IP addresses of servers hosting the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) servers on which Anonymous members planned the attacks, according to the affidavit.
They traced one "anonops" server address to FranTech Solutions in British Columbia, and found it belonged to a virtual server managed by FranTech but housed in a physical server at colocation provider Hurricane Electric in Fremont, Calif.
They traced another to a German ISP called Host Europe, but found the commands to launch DDOS traffic was being routed through Host Europe by someone with root-level access, who had logged in via the Tailor Made server in Texas.